Jan 26 - Mar 28
Screenwriting: Writing Your First Act
Registration is open until January 20, 2021
Deborah Goodwin

Course applications are now closed. APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO: Monday, January 4 at 2pm PT


Learn how to give shape and form to the first act of your screenplay with experienced screenwriters as your guides. In this intensive live, online course, you will complete the first act of your screenplay through assignments and small group workshops.

In class sessions, you will discuss successful screenplays’ first acts, watch how they move from script to screen, and discuss core concepts. You will then move into a small group breakout session with a course advisor where you will workshop your writing and those of your peers, and work to complete your first act. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project. 


By the end of the course, you will: 

  • Sharpen your understanding of screenplay sequences and structure, specifically the first act, inciting incidents, and dramatic problems.
  • Understand how to establish the rules of your fictional universe.
  • Discover how to build tension.
  • Develop your characters, their dramatic problems and worthy antagonists.
  • Learn how to give notes to your peers and process notes from your peers and advisors.

This course is ideal for:

  • Writers who have completed an outline of their feature-length screenplay and are looking for guidance from other writers and/or experienced screenwriters in writing their first act.
  • Writers who have completed a full draft of their feature-length screenplay, but want to receive more formal education about the structure of the first act and/or want to take their first act into a workshop setting.

Course enrollment is capped at 36 participants, with a participant to advisor ratio of no more than nine to one. To apply, you should have completed Sundance Co//ab’s Screenwriting: Core Elements OR the outline or treatment for the screenplay you plan to work on in class. 



COURSE DETAILS

The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live.

  • DURATION: Eight weeks, January 26 - March 28
  • SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 9:30am - 12pm PT
    • No Class: Tuesday, February 2
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Mar 22 - Mar 28
Instructor
New York, NY, USA
Deborah Goodwin is a writer-producer-director, who’s work in film and television began as a Development Executive for Sanford-Pillsbury Productions (DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, RIVER’S EDGE, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT). Deborah’s Urbanworld Film Festival, Best Screenplay win for her darkly provocative family drama CHERRY’S, launched her filmmaking path. more...
Advisor
Kimberly Barrante is the geeky offspring of a chemist and a librarian. She began her career as a playwright in New York City, after receiving a BA from Emerson College. She received her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Tisch NYU before moving to Los Angeles. more...
Advisor
New York, NY, USA
Born and raised in India, Sushma is a writer/director based in New York City. She ran her own production company for several years, making commissioned documentaries and commercials before switching to narrative fiction. more...
Advisor
Éva Gárdos is an award-winning film director and editor born in Hungary which she left at the age of six. Francis Ford Coppola gave Gardos her first job in film, working as a production assistant on Coppola’s epic APOCALYPSE NOW in the Philippines. “That was my film school.” She went on to establish a career as a film editor (VALLEY GIRL, MASK, BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA) working with distinguished directors such as Barbet Schroeder, Peter Bogdanovich, and Anjelica Huston. “All of the films I worked on had a dark side,” she recalls. “I’m always attracted to books, movies, art and music that are dangerous, oddly beautiful and funny in weird ways.” Éva’s screenwriting and feature film directorial debut, AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY, starred a young Scarlett Johansson. The film is based on the true life events of Éva’s family escaping from Hungary in the 1950’s and being forced to leave their infant child (Éva) behind. more...

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